How to Save Money When You Vacation in Portland, Oregon
For many people, vacationing in the charming Northwestern city of Portland, Oregon is a dream come true. But although it’s easy to be seduced by Portland’s beautiful scenery and attractions, it’s important to remember that it can be an expensive proposition. Fortunately, with some creative planning and research, you can cut your costs and enjoy the best of Portland without breaking the bank. Here are 8 tips to help you save money while you explore “the city of roses”.
1. Look for Deals and Discounts
One great way to explore the city on a budget is to seek out deals and discounts. It’s easy to search for discounts on hotel rooms and attractions, like the Portland Art Museum, Pioneer Place Mall, Powell’s City of Books and the Oregon Zoo, just to name a few. And don’t forget to check online voucher sites for special offers on everything from restaurant meals to sightseeing tours. You can also look for special discounts for seniors, students and children for a variety of Portland activities.
2. Choose the Right Hotel
Accommodation costs can really add up over the course of a vacation, so it pays to do some research on the best hotels deals in Portland. Many downtown hotels offer special rates during slow times, and if you’re willing to stay a few miles outside of the city center, you can often get a much better deal. Alternatively, there are lots of quieter and more wallet-friendly places in outlying neighborhoods, such as Hillsboro or Gresham.
3. Eat Like a Local
Portland is widely known for its incredible food scene, and it can be fun to indulge in upscale restaurants throughout your vacation. But of course, in order to save money, it pays to be more strategic with the restaurants you choose. Eating like a local will usually cost much less than patronizing more touristy spots. Be sure to ask around or do some research to find out which restaurants have the freshest and most delicious food without breaking the bank.
4. Look Beyond Downtown
Although downtown Portland is undeniably beautiful and full of things to do, it can also be surprisingly expensive. Be sure to venture outside the city center to find more affordable options for shopping and attractions. For example, if you’re keen to buy souvenirs, there are plenty of great shops outside of downtown, where you can often find good deals and unique gems.
5. Visit Free Attractions
If you’re tight for cash, don’t worry! Portland has plenty of free activities that the whole family will love. Vast public parks, like Washington Park and Forest Park, offer a great opportunity to get some fresh air and take in the natural beauty of Portland. Additionally, the city is home to several delightful art galleries that don’t charge admission, such as the 24-hour Portland Pennywork, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and the Portland Japanese Garden.
6. Look for Cultural Events
Besides the city’s famous eateries and attractions, Portland is also known for its lively cultural calendar. You can almost always find something interesting and affordable to do, like visiting the Portland Saturday Market, exploring the Portland Art Museum, or attending a local theater performance. Even if you don’t buy tickets for a show, you can often enjoy live music for free at Portland’s many venues.
7. Take Public Transportation
Compared to many other towns and cities in the U.S., Portland has a convenient and efficient public transportation system. Riding the tram, bus and streetcar can save you money on gas and parking, and you’ll also be able to move around the city with ease. Most public transit tickets and passes can be purchased for a single day or for several days at a time.
8. Travel During off-Season
If your heart is set on Portland, but you’re worried about the costs, you can always try traveling during the city’s off-season. Not only will hotels, attractions and restaurants usually be more affordable during winter months, but you’ll also be free from the hustle and bustle of summer months that bring large
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